Bound Side Angle

Bound Side Angle

2 Variations To Open Up Your Shoulders



You might either approach Bound Side Angle with excitement or with a sense of fear. If you adopt a certain perspective, it’s possible for the word “bound” to evoke a sense of freedom in the context of yoga. In postures like Bound Side Angle, openness is required not just in the shoulders but also in the hips. While on one hand, yes, the posture can seem limiting and closed (especially if there are constrictions due to pain or injury); on the other hand, through the use of props and specific articulations, there are ways to access increased shoulder mobility. In today’s video, Matt offers very explicit actions you can take to acquire more flexibility and strength. What you’ll also find is that the connection you gain to the rest of your body ultimately creates a positive influence on your ability to find more opening.

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It’s easy to prioritize the amount of mobility required in your shoulders for this posture, which is necessary, but there is more that requires your attention. Once you learn about what Chromatic Yoga is all about, you come into a more expansive awareness of your whole self—body and mind. Within your practice, this awareness is expressed as an informed exploration. This means that you begin to learn that certain movements or actions will alter your access and experience in a posture. 

Let’s examine what’s involved with the hips. There is a generous amount of abduction required, demanding a high degree of flexibility and strength in the adductor muscles. The wider the stance, the “easier” it will be to access the bind. In the video and discussion below, you’ll see how this supports your ability to find more shoulder mobility.




When setting up Bound Side Angle, some of the first cues Matt offers in the video are “hips back, groins back.” Emphasis on the positioning of your hips is addressed quite early. Taking these actions can immediately make way for increased space for you to drop your torso as low as possible. If the attempt to lower your upper body to a greater degree feels too ambitious, Matt suggests placing a block underneath your front foot. You can see how this elevation brings your inner knee closer to the back of your shoulder, which can allow more freedom for your arm to go underneath your inner thigh. 

That being said, it is also the articulation of the shoulder joint that impacts your ability to wrap around for the bind. More protraction of the scapulae and internal rotation of the shoulders will assist you in getting your arm behind you.  

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In both variations, once you have the security of the clasp, of your hands or with a strap, you can begin to lift. There are still actions that need to take place before you invite in the shoulder articulations for expansion. Creating a posterior tilt in your pelvis will set off the action of pulling your shoulders back, therefore lifting the chest up.

Practicing all of this with a strap may at first appear to be less arduous than without one. Matt notes that it may actually be more challenging in the sense that it provides increased range of motion in the shoulders. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the muscle activations that will create an underpinning of strength to support the flexibility. Activating muscles like the rear deltoids and the erector spinae (for spinal support), along with the glutes and adductors, will substantially bolster the integrity of this posture.

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As the saying goes, “You can throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks,” or in terms of yoga, you can arm yourself with education to gain more distinct results. The beauty of Chromatic yoga is that Matt articulates the alignment and biomechanics of each posture with absolute precision. This allows you to make informed choices regarding your practice: At any given time, you’ll have multiple opportunities to select which variations and modifications are appropriate for you. Through practice and repetition, you’ll experience a transformation within your physical body. What you’ll also learn is how to adopt and integrate the philosophical teachings of yoga into multiple areas of your life. Bound Side Angle pose may be a physical posture, but when you are open to the entire scope of what’s available to you within it, your potential is limitless.

Register for Matt’s next immersion, Chromatic Yoga, for a transformative experience.

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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Shoulder Revelation Immersion

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